So, let's say that my ultimate, uber-idealistic goal is to be a good human being who ultimately makes the world a better place. Through: 1. art and 2. daily interactions with other people.
In order to be a good person, I need to essentially be a happy person. ...yes? If I hate my life and my job, I will probably be a jerk. No success OR happiness.
Obviously, success and happiness are tied closely together. Notice how frequently the words for those two very different things are used interchangeably.
Okay, here comes the big point, in case you're just skimming.
Success doesn't always bring happiness, but happiness almost always brings some form of success (even if it's not the form you were originally working towards).
So this tells me, F the success quest. Put the happiness first because the other is like chasing smoke with a colander.
I would also like to add in that old metaphor of success without happiness and a mouthful of ashes. That is a terrible feeling, to have gotten what you wanted at the expense of your own (or someone else's) happiness. Yuck. But the reverse, happiness without success, being able to say, 'wow, we totally sucked but I don't care because ____ happened and I'm so happy' - that's super.
Now. Why did it take me 29 years to figure this out, and how quickly am I going to forget it and have to figure it out all over again?